Grantmaking Opportunities on the Web

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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 22,

1999. All rights reserved.

For Women, Fundraising Can Be a Good Career

If it is your business to raise money, you know all

the reasons why it’s good to dig deep into your pocket and give, give,

give. But do you do it? These women have. They belong to Women in

Development in Mercer County, a professional organization for those

in fundraising positions. Men can attend meetings but this is


a female group.

"The organization started in the living room of a couple of women

— Alison Lahnston, Florence Kahn, Janice Roddenbery, and

Diane Unruh, among others," says Gina Spagnoli, this

year’s WID president and Rider University’s development director.

"Now the group has close to 150 members."

"We felt there was a real need for women in this profession to

network, share views, and become professionalized," says Florence

Kahn, the first president of WID. She was director of development

for Planned Parenthood and campaign director for a collaboration of

environmental groups successfully working to preserve lands owned

by the Institute for Advanced Study. Now she has her own business.

"We have mentored a lot of women. It is a field that is very good

for woman, and WID is something that is very needed."

Spagnoli says the most important project for WID this year is to start

a fund for women and girls at the Princeton Area Community Foundation

(PACF). "The fund has surpassed the $50,000 mark, and it will

support women and girls in Mercer County. Our members were among those

who stepped up to the plate with four figure gifts. We hope others

in the community will step forward and add to that fund," she


The initial impetus for WID was to provide networking, training, and

career growth. "Many organizations don’t have funds to send


officers to national conferences to learn about planned giving,


campaigns, major gift funding, and retaining a staff, for instance.

These conferences are quite costly," says Spagnoli.

On Thursday, January 27, at 8 a.m. at the Hun School, Jane


executive director of the Association of Junior Leagues International,

will discuss "Changing the Culture of Your Organization to Support

Fund Raising." "How Women Choose to Give: Gender Differences

in Financial and Gift Planning" is the topic for Cindy


director of gift planning at Vassar College on Thursday, March 16,

at Rider University. The Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic hosts

the meeting on Tuesday, April 4, featuring Jane McAllister,

a principal at Heidrick and Struggles, on "Working with an


Search Firm to Build Your Career." "Fund Raising and Friend

Raising on the Web" will be covered by Laura Blanchard,

electronic publishing specialist at the University of Pennsylvania

Library, on Thursday, May 25.

Meetings are free and everyone "brownbags" their lunch or

breakfast, with the host organization providing beverages. After the

first meeting, women are encouraged to join the organization, which

has minimal dues of $25 per year. Call Judy Feldman at


for information about attending as a guest.

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Grantmaking Opportunities on the Web

Anyone with high hopes, a bundle of energy, and an


mission statement can launch a nonprofit or charitable organization,

but that won’t keep the government grants, corporate funding, and

individual donations coming in. A sound budget, and varied sources

of revenues, are just as important to an organization’s survival as

its mission statement.

The New Jersey Grants Guide, an 800-page publication put out by the

Center for Non-Profit Corporations, and published by Grants Guides

Plus (888-2GRANT9,, $149), is a



for the New Jersey charity or nonprofit organization seeking to raise

money through grants and contracts. Sections include Foundation and

Philanthropic Trusts, Corporation Foundation and Giving Programs,

State Government Departments and Agencies, Religious Funders, and

a toolkit for grantseeking.

When soliciting funds, the writers warn, be sure to avoid certain

pitfalls and observe certain rules of the game:

Don’t prepare the expense side of your budget first,


that funds will materialize to support those goals. Instead, identify

expected revenues, such as restricted and unrestricted contributions,

corporate and foundation grants, membership, special events, umbrella

funds distribution, memorials, product sales, government grants or


Diversify your funding sources. A nice mix is five


sources — grants, contracts, fees, interest income, and corporate

grants, for example.

Factor economic trends into the budget. If the economy

is in a recession, for example, don’t anticipate receiving as many

grants as you might otherwise. If the nation is in an inflationary

period, factor in higher costs for rent, travel, and salaries.

Develop a budget narrative, a description of how and why

the numerical budget was developed. For example, if local industries

are about to close, that would explain why your itemized line for

corporate donations may be small. The narrative should reflect the

goals of your organization, but also intent to increase revenues.

Many nonprofit organizations can get good advice and good


opportunities on the Web. Among the better known websites for


opportunities is the Foundation Center, ,


has links to individual grantmaking institutions as well as news,

and an online version of the application form used by a number of

New York and New Jersey-based grantmakers available online. Other

popular sites include GrantScape,,

and FedWorld,, which provides

links to

all government agencies.

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